Excited wasn't the word used to describe the mood Arkadios was in. His fifteenth birthday had come to be just an hour ago and he felt nothing but dread. Honestly, it was a rite of passage for a young turian to enlist into the military – a tradition, to sum it up. One that wasn't going anywhere, and there was no possible way to run from it. Despite this, in his lonesome thoughts as the boy lay in bed, he still fantasied of life beyond the military.
As the only child of the family and a part of the Sol lineage, there was only one possible future for him. One in the army.
Those who bared the name “Sol” often managed to begin a remarkable, if not proud career in the military, never leaving until death claimed them or they were discharged. The young turian had an aunt who was part of a squad that singlehandedly went against dozens of krogan mercenaries, who had taken control of a colony. He had an uncle he never knew that was on the Citadel, guarding the Council, and another relative who was present during the Attack of the Citadel. So, yes, Arkadios had a bit of a family tradition to upheld rather than a racial one.
His father didn't know of his lack of eagerness. Frankly, Arkadios knew that his father was better ogf not knowing. There were many things Tyrick Sol was for and against, the latter usually centered around upholding the old “turain ways” whilst the latter frowning upon...a lot. To be blunt, his father was a traditionalist like a lot of other military veterans.
Eventually, though, Arkadios came to one realization: There's no escape. This one path that was pre-decided for every youth and there was no way of denying it. He rather be barefaced than reject this rite, even if he didn't want it. And slowly, he closed his eyes even though morning was only a few hours away.
This would be the last time he'd sleep in his own bed, live in his own home, see his father...
He hoped this was all worth it.
When morning came, the shuttle arrived for him. Everything was ready for him: the transportation, his luggage, even his seat number was sent to him days before. It was though this process had been practiced hundreds times before. The thought made Arkadios cringe.
From behind him, his father stood proudly like any turian would. Talons clasped on his son's shoulder, his mandibles flexed in happiness. “Are you ready for this, my son?” Tyrick's voice rumbled in his throat.
The boy, soon to be a soldier, nodded slowly. “Yes, Father.” Arkadios said. But what Tyrick asked was hardly a question.
He shifted his son to face him, and Akradios stared back at his father, looking meek. “Return with pride, my boy, I ask nothing more.” Tyrick said, his voice heavy and hard, but welcoming. The elder turian leaned forward and, in affection, bumped his forehead against his son's slowly. Such an open show of fondness was considered indecent, maybe a little embarrassing, but it meant the world to Arkadios.
For all he knew, this would be the last time either of them saw each other ever again.
He searched for words. “I...” but there were none. His father understood, nodding in his silence. Arkadios bent down and grabbed his bags, looking away from Tyrick as he walked towards the awaiting shuttle. What could he say? Goodbye wasn't enough and anything else would be too much.
As he entered the shuttle, another turian awaited him. He didn't even look up to meet the young boy's face. “Arkadios Sol?” he asked, toying with his omni-tool, uninterested.
“Good; you're our last pick- up. You know your seat number so take your seat, kid.” Arkadios nodded again and moved down the sets of seats and turians. Each face was like his, all of them leaving for a life in the army because this was their rite of passage, and he knew none of them. He, and several strangers, would be shedding blood together.
In seconds, the shuttle left the ground and sets way to the nearest port.